Twitter has been credited with a lot of things: The ousting of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, launching book deals (“Sh-t My Dad Says”), recounting what you had for lunch, etc. And here’s one more gold star on the micro-blogging site’s list of accomplishments: Getting famed young adult author R.L. Stine to pen a book for adults.
“I’m on Twitter all day long,” says the engaging “Goosebumps” series author, only half-jokingly. “There are no kids on Twitter, but there are all these 20- and 30-somethings who grew up with ‘Goosebumps.'” These followers — which number around 60,000 — kept asking Stine if they’d ever be able to read something from him that’s a bit more age-appropriate. “I thought, ‘Gee, I have all of these people out there,'” says Stein. “And I can’t ignore my audience!”
So “Red Rain,” a very adult horror book — following orphaned twins adopted by a well-meaning travel author and her family who are unaware that they are evil incarnate — was created.
But what does it mean that Stine, who spent decades writing books for kids, created two monsters who were children?
“I thought people would find it funny,” he says with a laugh. “Because I write about so many good children. The kids in ‘Goosebumps’ are all good, fighting horrible evil. I thought people would find it ironic if I turned it around.”
Double the trouble
“Red Rain” is a tale of beautiful, otherworldly and, yes, evil twin boys who shoot laser beams out of their eyes. Making them twins was an intentional plot device for Stine. “All twins are scary,” he says. “They have been through time.” Stine heavily researched twins throughout the ages before starting to write the book. “People would separate them at birth because they were considered bad luck,” he recounted. “And, of course, there have been a million horror books and movies about evil twins, so I’m carrying on the tradition.”
Twenty years of ‘Goosebumps’
It’s a big year for Stine. Not only is “Red Rain” out today, but it’s also the 20th anniversary of “Goosebumps,” one of the best-selling children’s series of all time. Just how popular is the series??There have been more than 300 million books sold.